One of the toughest challenges facing employers today is how to discipline employees. Following these steps serve as an informal test employers can use to see if the discipline they are imposing is appropriate.
1. Notice: Did the employer forewarn the employee in a handbook?
Prestige requires all employees to sign an acknowledgement form upon receipt of the handbook. If you do not have a handbook, contact your HR Specialist immediately.
2. Reasonableness: Was the rule reasonably related to the orderly, efficient and safe operation of the business?
Keep in mind that what is reasonable depends on the nature of the business and the transgression. Contact Human Resources if you need further guidance.
3. Investigation: Before administering discipline, did the employer make an effort to discover whether the employee did, in fact, violate or disobey a rule?
You must prove the investigation conducted was fair, complete, and done before imposing a decision. Prestige recommends we conduct investigations on your behalf.
4. Fair and objective: Was the investigation conducted fairly and objectively?
Can you prove you considered all the facts?
5. Proof: Did the employer obtain sufficient evidence that the employee was guilty as charged?
Obviously, direct and irrefutable evidence is the best proof. However, circumstantial evidence also works.
6. Equal treatment: Has the employer applied its rules, orders and penalties evenhandedly and without discrimination?
This is the nondiscrimination test. However, if an employee is entitled to reasonable accommodation the employer must make a careful, proactive examination of the job requirements and the employee’s needs. Prestige can provide guidance concerning what is considered “reasonable accommodation”.
7. Appropriate penalty: Was the degree of discipline reasonably related to the seriousness of offense and the employee’s record?
In other words, does the penalty fit the crime?
If you have questions concerning this, or any other Human Resource issues,
contact Prestige Employee Administrators, Inc.